We live in a part of the United States where it so easy to catch a glimpse of this beautiful bird. I actually love the changing of Fall to Winter for this reason. As we travel around in our car during the day I’ll keep my eye on the sky, looking for a large bird soaring and circling. The Red-tailed Hawk is easily identifiable during this time because of its behavior and often times, its tail.
Cornell Labs captures something interesting about this behavior, “You’ll most likely see Red-tailed Hawks soaring in wide circles high over a field. When flapping, their wingbeats are heavy. In high winds they may face into the wind and hover without flapping, eyes fixed on the ground. They attack in a slow, controlled dive with legs outstretched – much different from a falcon’s stoop.” (source) That is such a vivid description of their descent to attack prey that I can picture it in my mind. We have had several occasions where a Red-tailed Hawk has landed in our yard and neighbors’ yards to catch a squirrel or small rodent. It’s really amazing that Hawks can see their prey so well from such a distance. Peter Rabbit was definitely careful for that reason!
This video about Redtail is such a nice compliment to Cornell Lab’s information and to Burgess’ writing of the bird:
Here is what we gathered about Redtail:
Hope you can enjoy the aerial show of a Red-tailed Hawk soon! Until next time, keep birding! <3 Kate
Check out our all of the Burgess Birds in Detail.